Sunday, 31 July 2011

Quesadillas - everything tastes better with cheese

I go through phases where I suddenly "remember" a dish, and then binge on it for a period of weeks or months. It seems as though that dish is often the quesadilla - the Mexican fried cheese sandwich.

As I said recently, I've "been craving spicy flavours. I've been wanting the prickle of chilli, cut back with cool lime and green herbs, underscored with salty fishsauce. I've been wanting rice." but in the last couple of weeks I have been slaking this thirst with Mexican, rather than South East Asian flavours.

I think Mexican food is right up there with Thai and Vietnamese for balancing hot, sweet, salt, sharp and fresh flavours, creating these very satisfying dishes. Or it should be, when it is done well.

My most recent quesadilla kick was instigated by Arlene, at the Food of Love with her black bean and goats cheese ones. I didn't mince my jalapenos, I used big slices of pickled ones, but the flavours were gorgeous.

Then Thomasina Miers' new series Mexican Food Made Simple hit channel 5 and my journey to the cheesy side was complete.

You can put pretty much anything in a quesadilla, as long as it isn't too runny and only needs warming through. An egg, beaten with grated cheese and mixed with sliced pickled jalapenos is ridiculously delicious. Mashed potato flecked with chorizo and thyme is one of the fillings they serve at Thomasina's restaurant Wahaca - my version used baby new potatoes and home made Mexican chorizo. Plain cheese is also good. Cheese and a sprinkle of hot sauce. Cheese and tomato. Cheese and mushroom. Cheese and leftover roast chicken.

It just occured to me that quattro formaggi would make a cross-cultural quesadilla of extraordinary beauty. I must try it.


hungryandfrozen said...

Quattro formagi quesadilla would indeed be gorgeous. I love making them - I hardly use my sandwich press but it makes me remember why it's useful. I always pile in too much cheese though and it all comes out the side - still delicious, just a bit messy.

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Everything does taste better with cheese, and it goes with both sweet and savoury foods... what more could one ask? Like the sound of your quesadilla fillings, delicious!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Laura - I will make it happen.

Leafy - cheese goes with everything!

Simona said...

I totally agree: cheese works wonders as an ingredient. I like your suggestions for quesadillas.

Arlene Delloro said...

I go through exactly the same phases and the quesadilla has stuck in my mind. Instead of pizza Fridays, we've been enjoying quesadilla Fridays. I have my latest coming up in a few posts, but I'm grooving on your fillings right now.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Simona - thanks!

Arlene - quesadilla Fridays is genius!

Paolina of Calur Villade said...

mmmmm yummyy. im eating mac and cheese right now and imagining that im eating you cheesy quesadilla's. lol


check out my blog :)

kat said...

I think for us its tacos we crave which I guess are pretty darn close to those.

Brain said...

Quesadillas are awesome, and now that I read this blogpost I feel like making some :D

Joyti said...

Yum. I am going to make porcini tacos with parmesan cheese and (homemade) salsa rojo tonight. So completely agreeing with the spicy aspect of Mexican/Latin cuisine :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Paolina - thank you for visiting my blog!

Kat - Do you do soft or hard shell tacos?

Gingersnap - glad I could share the craving!

Indie - porcini quesadillas? AMAZING!


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